Latymer Upper School

, ,
W6 9LR

United Kingdom
Coordinates51°29′31″N 0°14′13″W / 51.492°N 0.237°W / 51.492; -0.237
TypePublic school[3]
Independent day school
MottoLatin: Paulatim ergo certe
(Slowly Therefore Surely)
Religious affiliation(s)Church of England
EstablishedSchool: 1895; 129 years ago (1895)[1][2] Latymer Foundation: 1624; 400 years ago (1624)[1][2]
FounderEdward Latymer
Sister schoolGodolphin and Latymer School
Local authorityHammersmith and Fulham
Department for Education URN100370 Tables
HeadSusan Wijeratna[4]
Staff180 full time, 37 music staff
GenderCo-educational since 2004 (Formerly all-boys)
Age7 to 18
Colour(s)Black, blue and white
PublicationThe Latymerian
Former pupilsOld Latymerians
Boat ClubLatymer Upper School Boat Club

Latymer Upper School is a co-educational public school in Hammersmith, London, England, between King Street and the River Thames. It derives from a charity school, part of the same Latymer Foundation, founded in 1624 by the English merchant Edward Latymer, which has existed continually since. With approximately 1,200 pupils, most students are admitted to the Upper School through examination and interview at the age of eleven, with some also entering into the Sixth Form at 16. The school's academic results place it among the top schools nationally, and it has historically accepted under 10% of applicants.[a]

Having opened on its King Street site in 1895, the school spent a period of time in the mid-20th century as a direct grant grammar school, before becoming independent with the system's abolition in the 1970s. Remaining single-sex until 1996, when Sixth Form admissions were opened to girls, the school transitioned to full co-education in the first decade of the 21st century.

Latymer has been consistently ranked among the leading schools in the country academically. Its list of alumni include diplomats, numerous former and current members of both Houses of Parliament, the winners of several Olympic medals, and many prominent figures in the arts and sciences.



The school ca. 1890

Latymer Upper School has its origins in the will of Edward Latymer, a wealthy lawyer and puritan, who left part of his wealth for the clothing and education of "eight poore boyes" from Hammersmith. From 1628 to 1648, with one short interval, the Latymer boys attended a school in Fulham churchyard erected partly at the expense of Dr. Thomas Edwards (d. c. 1618), but in 1648 the boys were transferred to another school lately erected in Hammersmith by Mr. Palmer and Mr. Bull. About 1657 a parochial charity school was established, and it was there that the Latymer boys attended for the next hundred years. A girls' school came into existence at some time before 1689, and it is possible that the three schools were conducted under the same roof but with separate finances. By 1755 the existing building had become dilapidated, and it was replaced by one of two storeys to accommodate 25 girls on the ground floor and 20 boys above. The cost, however, proved a serious drain on the income of the charity and the numbers were reduced to 15 boys and 15 girls. In 1819 two rooms were added and the numbers increased to 80 boys and 50 girls, who were educated on the 'National' system. Later the income of the girls' charity decreased and it was absorbed into the St. Paul's parochial school, but the Latymer boys' school flourished, having 100 boys but no room for extension.[1][5]

In 1863 a new building for 125 boys was erected in Great Church Lane (Hammersmith Road). Sixteen years later a new scheme was drawn up which diverted the bulk of the income to a new Upper School to provide secondary education for 150 boys; clothing was not provided and fees were to be charged. The existing school was to be conducted as an elementary school to be known as the Latymer Lower School. Under the name in fact of the Latymer Foundation School this became an L.C.C. school with a roll in 1960 of over 300 boys aged between nine and seventeen. In 1961 the governors decided that a modern education could not be given in the existing building, that it was impossible to rebuild, and that they must therefore close the school. It closed in July 1963.[1][clarification needed]

New buildings for the Upper School, erected between King Street and the river, were opened by the Bishop of London in 1895. In less than two years the numbers reached 300 and in 1901 accommodation was increased to admit 450 by the addition of five classrooms, laboratories, and a workshop.[1]

In 1930 the main block was extended southward and in 1934 further additions were made by the acquisition of existing buildings at the corner of King Street and Weltje Road. These were altered for school use, a biology laboratory was added, and a room on the top floor was converted into a chapel, consecrated in 1938. In 1951 the governors bought Rivercourt House on the river bank, and this made it possible to increase the number of boys to over a thousand. Between 1957 and 1961 new physics laboratories were built, largely as a result of a grant from the Industrial Fund for the Advancement of Science in Schools. The total number of boys in the school in 1964 was approximately 1,150.[1]

Recent history

In the 1950s, the school was a direct grant grammar school, which took large numbers of state school pupils, whose fees were paid by the local authority, solely on the basis of merit. At the same time, it continued to take some fee-paying pupils. The Direct Grant system was abolished from 1975, and the school became fully independent of government funding. The Sixth Form has been co-educational since 1996, and in 2004 the main school started to become co-educational, with the introduction of girls into Year 7. With that year's entry moving into Year 11, the school became fully co-educational by 2008. Each year, the school gathers in the nearby St. Paul's church for "Founder's Day", an annual reflection upon and celebration of Edward Latymer and other benefactors of the school. As a member of the HMC[6] it is a public school.[3][7]

Student body

Pupils come from a wide area of London. 176 pupils are on means-tested bursaries, 70 of whom are on 100 per cent bursaries. A school statement in the Good Schools Guide said: "We attract a real mix from city investors, media types and academics living in leafy streets through to families on the White City estate, which is surely better than just those from a privileged bubble mixing with each other".[8]


Tuition for 2020 was £21,000 per year, plus other mandatory and optional fees.[9]

Latymer offers a bursary programme, with 176 pupils on means-tested bursaries.[10][11] For families with incomes unable to pay the fees, Latymer Upper is free.[12] The school has a substantial fund from donations ring-fenced to fund bursaries.[13][14]


Latymer Upper School is one of the highest academically performing schools in the UK historically and to date.[15] The school's own on-site prep pupils enter the Upper School automatically at the end of Year 6, Tatler Schools Guide commentated that 'competition for Latymer places is hotter than ever: 1,100 applicants sat the exam last spring; 400 were interviewed for 168 places'.[15] The examined subjects are in English and Maths, which are followed by an interview. There were 33 Oxbridge places in 2017, and an increasing number went to US universities such as Brown, Columbia, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, Pennsylvania and Yale.[16]


There are over 140 clubs and societies at Latymer, including the J. S. Mill, Literary and Latymer Societies. There are also clubs for bridge, chess, debating, philosophy and photography. The Drama Society holds several productions each year.[17]

The school has links with other schools across Europe with a joint orchestra, as well as other trips (such as work experience), with Godolphin and Latymer School. There are trips abroad throughout the year, such as skiing trips, language exchanges, work experience in Paris, Berlin and Stockholm, Classics trips to Italy and Greece, sports tours and expeditions. Latymer Upper also participates in the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.[18]

Latymer contributes to local music, art, drama, dance and sports projects, as well as acting as venue for a Sunday School and Scuba diving for the disabled. Sixth Form students are encouraged to help in local primary schools and old people's homes as part of their general studies program, as well as with groups helping the homeless and disabled. In addition, the school offers all students a trip every year in 'Activities Week'. Destinations have included Spain, the Ardèche gorge in the south of France.[19]


The PE department offer extracurricular programmes. Optional sports include rugby, cricket, rowing, athletics, football, tennis, cross-country, fencing, karate, scuba diving, table tennis, squash, badminton and swimming. Over 700 students are currently learning to play a musical instrument, with 175 involved in the school's two full orchestras and five string orchestras and around 150 in the choirs.[citation needed]


The Latymer Upper School Boat Club has been open for over a century to school pupils, and offers rowing to both genders.[20] The boat house has taught three Olympic rowers, including Andy Holmes, Olympic gold medal rower (1984 Games and 1988 Games),[21][22] Henry Fieldman, Olympic bronze medal rower (2020 Games) and the Olympic Silver medallist Jim Clark was a coach. The Boat Club has gone on to win Henley Royal Regatta, most recently with the win of the Diamond Jubilee Challenge Cup.[23][24]


Academic facilities

Latymer Performing Arts Centre

The Main Hall is the primary building around which the rest of the campus is grouped; it is used for assemblies. It is the original Victorian school building.[citation needed] The Design block at one end of the main hall houses the Design & Technology labs.[citation needed] The Modern languages block is a 1960s building housing the modern and classical languages departments.[citation needed] The Latymer Theatre and Arts Centre, opened in 2000, includes a 300-seat galleried box theatre, music practice rooms, art galleries and studios, plus a cafe and atrium area.[citation needed] The Latymer Performing Arts Centre, completed in 2009, contains drama studios, rehearsal rooms and a 150-seat recital hall.[25] The Science and Library building, opened in 2010, includes labs for the three sciences and a library with seating for more than 200 pupils which occupies a floor at the base. Van Heyningen and Haward Architects were responsible for the design and delivery of these four buildings during a ten-year working relationship with the school.[26]

Athletic facilities

Other facilities

Coat of arms

The school for many years used the armorial bearings of the founder, Edward Latymer. This included his motto, paulatim ergo certe ("Slowly therefore surely"), which doubled as a pun, including the word "latimer" (spelt thus as there is no letter y in Latin). An intermediate coat of arms was taken from one of the quarters of the original coat of arms which combined that of the Latymer Foundation and of the Latymer School. In 2004, the motto was simplified, before being changed again to its current form in September 2020.[29]

Public examination results

Latymer has been ranked consistently in the leading schools in the country academically based on the merit of its position in the national GCSE and A level examination performance tables combined with one of the highest Oxford and Cambridge acceptance rates of any secondary school or college.

GCSE & A-Level summaries over five years[30]

GCSE summary[30] A level summary
2019 77.8 92.1 98.2
2018 70.8 90.0 97.5
2017 70.6 91.2 98.5
2016 61.6 86.9 97.7
2015 69.7 92.2 98.8
2019 31.8 70.7 91.2
2018 29.4 66.9 90.6
2017 34.8 74.7 92.2
2016 32.0 75.8 95.2
2015 32.1 73.3 91.7

Old Latymerians


Joshua Rozenberg

Film and theatre

Hugh Grant
Toby Regbo
Alan Rickman


Raphael Wallfisch


Other fields

Heston Blumenthal
Bill Emmott
Jim Smith
Frederick Vine

Former staff

See also


  1. ^ In 2016


  1. ^ a b c d e f 'Schools: Latymer and Godolphin Schools', in A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 1, Physique, Archaeology, Domesday, Ecclesiastical Organization, the Jews, Religious Houses, Education of Working Classes To 1870, Private Education From Sixteenth Century, ed. J S Cockburn, H P F King and K G T McDonnell (London, 1969), pp. 305-306. British History Online [accessed 10 November 2023].
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ a b "About Us > Overview". Latymer Upper School. Retrieved 6 December 2023. "Putting the best possible case for being a public school in this day and age"
  4. ^ "New Head announced for Latymer Upper School". RS Academics. Retrieved 15 January 2023.
  5. ^ Wheatley, William (1936). The History of Edward Latymer and his Foundations. Including the life of William Latymer, Dean of Peterborough. Cambridge University Press. OCLC 811588851.
  6. ^ "Latymer Foundation at Hammersmith Consolidated Report and Financial Statements". Charity Commission (UK). 31 August 2018. Retrieved 6 December 2023. The Head of Latymer Upper School is a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference, and the Principal of the Latymer Preparatory School is a member of the Independent Association of Prep Schools. The Governing Body is a member of the Association of Governing Bodies of Independent Schools.
  7. ^ "The Fleming Report (1944) The Public Schools and the General Educational System". His Majesty's Stationery Office. 1944. Retrieved 6 December 2023. the association between the Public Schools (by which term is meant schools which are in membership of the Governing Bodies' Association or Headmasters' Conference) ...
  8. ^ "Latymer Upper School, London". Good Schools Guide. Archived from the original on 22 May 2010. Retrieved 31 August 2010.
  9. ^ School Fees Information
  10. ^ "The dilemma of a left-leaning private school teacher". Tes. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  11. ^ Connington, James (17 October 2015). "Can't afford private school fees? You may not have to pay". The Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  12. ^ Viña, Gonzalo (28 April 2016). "Britain's private schools offer record bursaries". Financial Times. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  13. ^ Lough, Catherine (28 February 2020). "Revealed: Private schools with the highest surpluses". TES. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  14. ^ Bray, Paul (28 March 2013). "Private school bursaries: helping talent shine through". The Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  15. ^ a b "Latymer Upper School". Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  16. ^ "A-Level Results: Another record-breaking year!". Archived from the original on 29 August 2012. Retrieved 13 January 2022.
  17. ^ Clubs Archived 2008-07-08 at the Wayback Machine Latymer Upper School
  18. ^ Clubs, Activities and Trips Archived 2009-01-31 at the Wayback Machine Latymer Upper School
  19. ^ Activities Week Archived 2008-09-07 at the Wayback Machine Latymer Upper School
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  24. ^ Quarrell, Rachel (5 July 2019). "German eight on last warning after repeat offence at Henley Royal Regatta". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  25. ^ New Music Building Building, Latymer Upper School
  26. ^ "van Heyningen & Haward: Latymer Upper School, West London". Architecture Today. Archived from the original on 16 August 2016. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  27. ^ "New Sports Centre opens - LUS".
  28. ^ "The England rugby squad trains at the Kensington Latymer Upper School..." Getty Images. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  29. ^ Old Latymerian News, October 2004 Archived 2006-10-29 at the Wayback Machine (PDF document). Accessed 15 December 2006.
  30. ^ a b "Latymer Upper School". Retrieved 17 February 2017.
  31. ^ Francis Beckett The Rebel Who Lost His Cause – The Tragedy of John Beckett MP, London: Allison and Busby, 1999, pp. 15–16
  32. ^ Rubinstein, William D.; Jolles, Michael A.; Rubinstein, Hilary L. (2011). "Rozenberg, Joshua Rufus". The Palgrave Dictionary of Anglo-Jewish History. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 832. ISBN 978-1-349-51951-4.
  33. ^ "Keith Vaz: Who is the Labour MP caught up in male prostitute claims?". The Independent. 4 September 2016. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  34. ^ a b Griffiths, Sian. "Latymer Upper School forces out seven over drugs | News". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  35. ^ "Natalie Abrahami: In the right direction". Ink Pellet.
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